Career and Family

or Register to post new content in the forum

46 RepliesJump to last post

 

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Apr 17, 2007 3:17 pm

I would like to hear from any female brokers who started in this industry while they were young.  I have been with one of the big name firms for a year and in production for several months and I'm doing very well. 

Every other female advisor I've met has started in the business only after they had grown children.  I would like the opinion on whether this career is one that can withstand the anticipated changes my life will still go through with family and children. 

My fiance already makes six figures in a stable position and he's also under 30.  I feel torn because I know I can do well in this industry, but I also anticipate needing extended periods of time off in the next ten years.  The other 22 advisors in my office (less one) are all men over 40 who've been in this field for at least a decade--so I have no basis for comparison.

I know this is a more personal question but I just wanted advice from people who may have experienced similar circumstances.  I also know that this is primarily a male board (as is the industry) but I welcome any response. 

Apr 17, 2007 3:23 pm
FA2477:

I would like to hear from any female brokers who started in this industry while they were young.  I have been with one of the big name firms for a year and in production for several months and I'm doing very well. 

Every other female advisor I've met has started in the business only after they had grown children.  I would like the opinion on whether this career is one that can withstand the anticipated changes my life will still go through with family and children. 

My fiance already makes six figures in a stable position and he's also under 30.  I feel torn because I know I can do well in this industry, but I also anticipate needing extended periods of time off in the next ten years.  The other 22 advisors in my office (less one) are all men over 40 who've been in this field for at least a decade--so I have no basis for comparison.

I know this is a more personal question but I just wanted advice from people who may have experienced similar circumstances.  I also know that this is primarily a male board (as is the industry) but I welcome any response. 



I am not female, but have been in the industry for a while, and my wife also is succesful in a related male-dominated financial field.

I will offer the following simple thoughts-

1.)  Many women have a tough time because of the "boys club" atmosphere.  But, those who can survive that tend to be very successful, far above average.  In no small part(and this is not to take away from their skills and talents) because they don't have as much competition because there are so many fewer female advisors.

2.)  If you buy the whole "Mars versus Venus" thing, many of the ways women tend to think are better suited for an advisory role than us guys.

3.)  As to the root of your question-this career offers a tremendous amount flexibility if you can first prove your ability to get the job done.  But expect that you'll have to work hard and coordinate child rearing with your husband and perhaps hire a nanny....or get in a good partnership(at work) with someone you really trust to help you with your book when you're out.

Apr 17, 2007 3:26 pm
FA2477:

I would like to hear from any female brokers who started in this industry while they were young.  I have been with one of the big name firms for a year and in production for several months and I'm doing very well. 

Every other female advisor I've met has started in the business only after they had grown children.  I would like the opinion on whether this career is one that can withstand the anticipated changes my life will still go through with family and children. 

My fiance already makes six figures in a stable position and he's also under 30.  I feel torn because I know I can do well in this industry, but I also anticipate needing extended periods of time off in the next ten years.  The other 22 advisors in my office (less one) are all men over 40 who've been in this field for at least a decade--so I have no basis for comparison.

I know this is a more personal question but I just wanted advice from people who may have experienced similar circumstances.  I also know that this is primarily a male board (as is the industry) but I welcome any response. 


You could be divorced in 10 years, so stop worrying about it and work your butt off.

Apr 17, 2007 5:13 pm

FA, I've always wondered the same thing, and playing in the boys world makes it a real concern for every woman who wants to be able to compete. Thanks for making this post, hopefully you (and I) will get some helpful input (thanks joe ...Bobby, don't talk just to hear your own voice) 


I will say I know several sucessful women who have shown me you can have it all - a great career and a family - but you might not be able to have it at the same time.  While this sucks and is pretty unfair for us girls, it is what it is and I doubt it's changing anytime soon.

Apr 17, 2007 5:35 pm

FA, you can absolutely do this, but you'll have to become established before you start your family.  A friend of mine did this.  She realized that the amount of hours that she could work would be limited so she simply raised her account minimums.  The end result was that her income stayed the same, but she only worked 15-20 hours a week.

Apr 17, 2007 5:48 pm

 . . female advisor?? Did someone call??  Where oh where is Babs.


I am a female and my children were 8 and 6 when I started.  Listen there is never a GOOD time to have kids.  You just DO it.  Everything and anything you suffer for the children is worth it.  No matter how tired you are, kiss them before you go to sleep.


. . oh having children does not get easier as you get older.  IT GETS HARDER.  So, if you have a stable marriage, have the kids.  They are a blessing from God.


To be successful in this job OR any job.  You have to work your butt off.  But when you are successful here . . you can CRUISE.  Like no other job on earth.  It is a great job for working mothers.


The hardest thing has been said above.  The idiotic men you will work with.  There are always some good guys, but you will meet some of the strangest personalities you have ever run into.  Get tough.  Give it right back to them, and let your WORK do the talking.


PM me if you like.  This is not for the weak at heart.


Kudos to you for having the guts to post the question.

Apr 17, 2007 5:51 pm

Oh, one more thing.  Please do NOT have one child and quit.  It is very selfish.  The first child is for you and your husband.  THE SINGLE BEST THING YOU CAN EVER GIVE YOU CHILD IS A SIBLING.  So you have the second child for them.  And after that?  Who's counting.


Oh, it is actually easier to put a newborn into Daycare or with a nanny than a child who is 3 or 4.  The pinch times are ages 3 to 5.  Tough , Tough years.  When they get into school, you are cruising if you did your work up front.

Apr 17, 2007 6:51 pm

I really really appreciate the responses thus far.  I have to admit that I wasn't expecting such sincerity.  I stopped reading this forum months ago because it was mostly a place for cheap shots and drivel. 

And thanks especially to maybeeee for answering even the questions I wanted to ask and didn't.

I'm in a "sink or swim" office where there's no help at all (not even a kind word).  If this forum is again a place to go to for real questions, I think that is awesome. 

 

Apr 17, 2007 6:53 pm

I started in this career when my child was in 5th grade and I was a single Mom. (18 years ago)  It was tough. I don't know how people with little children/toddlers, men or women can do it when just beginning as financial advisors.  One thing for sure is that you need to have a supportive spouse or other support system to help with the children. 


Like Maybeeee says, there is never a perfect time to have children. Although I think sooner than later, mainly because you need the energy of youth to take care of kids and try to have a career. There is nothing so unfair to you or your children as being an older parent who is just not up to the challenge of teenagers. 


Being a financial advisor and especially an independent, as I am now, I have a great deal of flexibility that I didn't have in the beginning.  The ideal for a working/career female would be to work your butt off for a few years to get to a position where you have enough AUM to be able to scale back for a few years while your children are young.  Once they are in school full time and especially when they become hormonal teenagers, they really don't want you to be around that much anyway. 


Joe's idea of being in a small firm or partner with someone who will allow you to scale back is a good one.  Being at a wire or other bigger firm, you will be held to production numbers that may not be easy to meet and still allow you time to be off with your family.  


This is a man's world in this industry, so don't expect special treatment because you are female or have children. The best thing to do is to speak to the Branch Manager or owner of the firm and get a feel for just how much leeway you would be allowed.


Apr 17, 2007 6:59 pm

Babs:


Why do so few females enter the career field?  Is it because of the math?  Maybe it's because it's not a guaranteed income and females tend to want more financial security.  


(It's interesting about gender career fields: for example, you'll always see more female teachers and nurses.  You're seeing more female police officers than ever before, though.)  

Apr 17, 2007 7:59 pm

Seems it might be best to determine first if you're in the right career field, although with less women in the field, there would certainly be a need for more women for various reasons.  Maybe women prefer women advisors or maybe male or female, a person may just prefer a male advisor.  I wouldn't put the effort in unless you know it's the right field for you.  There's a high attrition rate as I've read:


My experience has been that people who are good in math tend to be good in this business," said Jack Gary, branch manager at Raymond James & Associates in West Palm Beach. "But you also need skills in effective communication, good selling skills and being comfortable speaking in front of people."


Raymond James & Associates does require a college degree and prefers those with three or four years of business experience. Applicants who are interviewed must also take a series of tests that help determine their skills and whether they would make a successful adviser.


It would be interesting to find out more about these types of tests and what they entail.


http://www.palmbeachclassifieds.com/employment/jobs/main/job sfinancialadvisor_main.html

Apr 17, 2007 8:01 pm

Maybe women prefer women advisors or maybe male or female, a person may just prefer a male advisor. 


I meant: may prefer a female advisor for whatever reason.  (Suze Orman has pointed out in her new book that maybe women aren't so good with money, though.  Might hurt the perception of whether to use female advisors).

Apr 17, 2007 9:11 pm

I believe Suze Orman's point is that women don't THINK they can be good

with money, when in reality they can be just as capable with money as

men. They've just been cultured to believe that men should handle the

money and they don't have to worry about it. I don't think declaring

women bad with money would help Suze's book sales!

In actuality, women are taking a much more active role in household

finances than ever before, with 61% of women saying they now are the

primary person responsible for the long-term financial planning. A

recent study by the National Association of Investment Clubs shows

female investment clubs outperforming their male counterparts by a wide

margin in 9 of the 12 years in the study. And since women still earn

about 25% less than men, and live 7 years longer, they have different

financial planning needs than men.

I'm not sure why it's necessary to reconsider our choice of career field just

because we're women. Your quote attributes success to those who are

good at math and have effective communication and interpersonal skills,

not those who are men.

Apr 17, 2007 9:27 pm

My quote was copied from the link: it isn't my quote.  Allow me to clarify and add a few more points.


If there's not many women in the field: per the quote and prior comments: maybe it's the lower aptitude in math.  On the other hand, women normally have very good communication and interpersonal skills and maybe this could make up for the lack in math skills.  Since one company has a battery of "tests" to determine if you might be good at the job: I made mention, I wonder what these tests entail: more than likely they are more math oriented I gather.


Women don't take the backseat in making decisions anymore and may, in fact, may even "wear the pants" in some families (buy bacon and fry it too) if you have a Mr. Mom at home  or in many cases, you might see partners taking an equal part in the decisions. I have the book but haven't read it yet:  however, Suze is saying that women tend to undervalue themselves and always put people first then money; are more giving and therefore don't look out for their financial welfare as much.  


Hmmm, for that matter, look at Suze Orman herself: she was a waitress and undervalued herself until she was encouraged by others: recall she wanted to open a restaurant and just "fell" into the field due to losing money that she invested.  As a waitress, she could go no where but up.  With that thought in mind, I would encourage females to go into the field if they possess good communication, and interpersonal skills (even if they lack the math skills) especially if you can go no where but up, that is, if you are making mediocre wages.  Or there's always sales in insurance: seems to be comparable field, too (maybe a better field, don't really know)--seems less stressful since everyone normally needs and wants insurance but not financial advisory services.   

Apr 17, 2007 11:36 pm
babbling looney:

Joe's idea of being in a small firm or partner with someone who will allow you to scale back is a good one.  Being at a wire or other bigger firm, you will be held to production numbers that may not be easy to meet and still allow you time to be off with your family.  

This is a man's world in this industry, so don't expect special treatment because you are female or have children. The best thing to do is to speak to the Branch Manager or owner of the firm and get a feel for just how much leeway you would be allowed.
 



Thanks Babs!  I know this-there are plenty of indys out there(including myself) who would be happy to work out an arrangement with a working mom to cover their book and help them out, in return for the same when they are on vacation or out meeting clients.  We have better margins and more flexibility than the wirehouse guys.

I will also second the point made by an earlier poster that one advantage of continuing to work is that by the time your kids are COGNIZANT of being dropped off at daycare they are used to the routine.  Just make sure you have them in a loving and safe environment.  Too, understand that it is the QUALITY of the time you spend with those kids, not the QUANTITY.  When you are with them, be THERE and interact and play and talk with them.  I know plenty of people who have more time with their kids than I do, but far less QUALITY.

Work your butt off now and build your book, your credibility within the firm and your contacts within the industry(thus giving you options if your BOM isn't flexible).  And-when the time comes-be ready to stand up for yourself and your rights.  In many ways, when it comes to that point you have an ADVANTAGE as a woman.  Being a committed father in a two career family can be no picnic in this industry, I promise.  There was more than on instance at my prior (wirehouse) firm where I went head to head with my sales manager(ironically a single mom, I think she felt she had something to prove) over her efforts to pressure me to go to after hours meetings run by wholesalers.  More than once it came down to me looking her in the eye and saying "Hey look, I'm making my numbers, this meeting is NOT essential nor required, and I have a family responsibility.  Now, do you really want to go there?"

Good luck, and I'm glad we could help.

Apr 17, 2007 11:47 pm

Put where are you????





You people are begging for him to rip into this convo……

Apr 18, 2007 12:00 am
DirtyDeltaBro:

Put where are you????





You people are begging for him to rip into this convo……



IT would be a pleasure to have put back compared to some of the new trolls we have hanging out here lately!

Apr 18, 2007 1:07 am

Put was far from a troll.   

Apr 18, 2007 1:17 am
kap39:

FA, I've always wondered the same thing, and playing
in the boys world makes it a real concern for every woman who wants to
be able to compete. Thanks for making this post, hopefully you
(and I) will get some helpful input (thanks joe ...Bobby, don't talk just to hear your own voice) 

I'm going to expose myself as a male chauvinist pig, but I don't
think women are suited for this business. You can do the whole
Condoleeza Rice thing, but its not compatible with raising a family.



This a sales job. You don't sell, the kids don't eat.


You spend time with the kids, you're not selling, your're not
earning, and the kids don't eat. There is a big time comittment to this
business, since most of the action takes place outside of market hours.


I will say I know several sucessful women who have shown me
you can have it all - a great career and a family - but you might not
be able to have it at the same time.  While this sucks and is
pretty unfair for us girls, it is what it is and I doubt it's changing
anytime soon.


It's not changing, and the feminists lied to you. You can't have it all.

Apr 18, 2007 1:21 am
kap39:

I believe Suze Orman's point is that women don't THINK they can be good
with money, when in reality they can be just as capable with money as
men.





Suze Orman is living proof that women have no business with money.